Bay Journal

Chesapeake Notebook

News, notes and observations from the Bay Journal staff.

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The night I feared I'd lose my leg

For years, I’ve been writing about swimmers and watermen getting serious bacteria infections from contact with the Chesapeake Bay. But I’ve also been telling people when they ask that it’s generally safe to swim in the Bay and its tributaries.  At least that’s what I used to say — until I got an infection of my own. Until I lay awake in a hotel room far away from home, wondering if that night was the night I would lose my leg.

Rona Kobell
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Virginia announces new Oyster Trail — wine included

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced this week the creation of a Virginia Oyster Trail, a major tourism initiative that aims to connect travelers in the state to its fast growing oyster industry.

Whitney Pipkin
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Foodways & Waterways at the Smithsonian

Consider attending Food in the Garden at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History this September to learn about foodways and waterways during the War of 1812. 

Whitney Pipkin

Picture This

Tips from veteran Chesapeake Bay photographer Dave Harp about how to capture the perfect images from your outdoor travels.

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Order of Chaos

Photographers go to great lengths to make order out of chaos. A good photograph has a strong point of view, clean lines, generally good composition. In this case chaos IS the point. Anyone who has ever witnessed a flock of snow geese erupt into flight knows that the sight and sounds of those birds says chaos to the extreme.    This flock was photographed with a 200mm lens, 2x tele extender, Olympus E-5 camera, 1250/sec. @ f5.6. ISO 200. The scene was made at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge just after sunrise, thin cloud cover.

David Harp
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January morning along the Choptank River

It was a very cold pre dawn January morning along the Choptank River.   Out to capture some winter scenes (since we didn't really have winter last year). I found this ice encrusted plant and made a photo in the early morning light.    Wanting more drama in the photo I waited until the rising sun barely kissed it and made another exposure. Sometimes is pays to wait for the light.Both photographs were made with an Olympus E-5, 12-60mm lens at 21mm.  

David Harp
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Virginia oystermen in Kegotank Bay

I had been out most of the day photographing a pair of seaside Virginia oystermen in Kegotank Bay, near Gargatha Inlet and was generally pleased with the day's work.  The two watermen had been picking up clumps of oysters, breaking them apart with  culling hammers and saving the prime ones in wire baskets.    Having finished the last few photos of them off loading the oysters, I began to pack up my camera and audio gear when I caught another oyster picker out of the corner of my eye.   He was celebrating a 4 bushel day (at $50 per bushel) with a Colt 45.  His wonderful demeanor, working man's wardrobe and the nice late afternoon light made for a great combination.

David Harp

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